My Goats Are Too Noisy!
Goats

My Goats Are Too Noisy!

My most popular post is 7 tips to make noisy goats quiet. It’s an old post that I wrote back when I was just getting my feet wet in the world of goats.

It’s now been 2 years that I’ve had goats and I am about to depart some wisdom all up in here for those of you who desperately want your goats to be quiet.

Ya’ll ready?

Here it comes!

You don’t make your goats quiet. You live with it or sell them.

Wow. That was harsh. But sadly true.

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Goats will complain about everything. If you want to calm the noise parade down a notch here are some of my suggestions.

  1. Make sure they have adequate space.

    If the pen is too small they’ll complain. They want to run around, and dance, and dive off of things. Make sure they have the room to do that.

  2. Make sure they have adequate food.

    Goats love to eat. They want to eat all of the time. (Ahem, just like me.) If they have nothing to eat they will yell. Make sure they have a large enough pen that allows for grazing. If they’re on a dry lot, like mine, or if you’re in a drought, like we are currently, then free choice hay is your friend. There is also kitchen scraps, weeds from your garden, or branches from trees that you want to take down. Give them all the food you can. Our neighbors even save their kitchen scraps for us.

  3. Look at your breed.

    Do you have a noisy breed? Some are just known for noise. Which is why I would never have a Nubian. Rumor has it they are the nosiest ones out there. I notice it even in our herd. Sophie is a pygmy mixed doe who hardly ever makes a noise. Chelsea is a purebred Nigerian Dwarf who I can’t ever shut up! Phoebe is also a Nigerian dwarf and she inspired the post I Hate Goats. (Another of my more popular posts).noisygoat

  4. Can they see you?

    When we built our pens we thought it would be so nice to be able to see everything from the house. Which it is in some respects. But if we can see them, sadly they can see us. I’m usually held hostage in my home and (no word of a lie) sneak out of my house so they don’t notice me if I have to go out. I’m not even kidding. I’ll sneak out the side door, make a break for my car or the garden or the mailbox, just so they don’t see me. If they so much as catch a glimpse they just go cra-zay! Whenever my front door opens they know I’m there. It’s actually somewhat humorous because they know the sound of the screen door slam. They hear me when I come out and yell and yell and yell. And as soon as I go back inside and the door slams again the yelling completely stops. On a dime. Oh she’s gone now, we’ll get her next time. I = food.  Remember point 2, they must have food. If they have food but are still yelling at me they simply want attention and treats. Which I rarely give to them in the first place and never when they are shouting. Which leads us into point 5.

  5. DO NOT REWARD BAD BEHAVIOR!!!!!!

    My hubby is terrible for this. Oh they’re crying I’ll just give them more hay or more treats, or I’ll go over and rub their necks. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD NO! If they are yelling (which is bad behavior) and you give them a treat or go and pet them then you have given them a reward. Ergo you just rewarded bad behavior. They won’t remember much but they will remember that. So the next time they start yelling and you don’t give them a raisin they’re like what the heck where’s my raisin and thus they yell louder and longer because goodness gracious you gave them a raisin ONE TIME 6 YEARS AGO when they were yelling and dog gone-it you had better do it again. That is their reasoning. For the love of all things good and pure do not reward bad behavior. Do not allow them to push you around. Do not allow them to jump up on you, do not allow their horns anywhere near you (if they’re horned), and do not let them think that yelling is going to provide them with anything good. Ignore them. Don’t even look at them. If the yelling is too unbearable (believe me I’ve been there) then lock them up in their stall, or squirt them in the face with a water gun (which is oddly therapeutic). Do not give in to their demands.noisygoat1

  6. When all else fails be prepared to sell them.

    No one likes noisy goats. If you have 100 acres and can stick them about 50 acres out so you never have to look at them that’s fine. I get it, they are exasperating. But if you are like me living on 3 acres with neighbors all around consider selling your goats. Get a less noisy breed, or wait until you have a larger piece of land or have several paddocks made up for rotational grazing (even then, be prepared. They don’t like change). Take a really close look at why you have your goats, what they provide for your family, and if they are necessary. For us the benefits of having them outweigh the pure annoyance they bring to my life so they stay, but that is our situation. Yours could be completely different. Really think on it.

  7. Look at the times they are yelling.

    There could be some perfectly simple explanations for the noise. Like is your doe in heat? Chelsea is a screamer in just everyday life, but when she is in heat she is unbearable with the noise. Thankfully a heat doesn’t last very long, so if your doe only seems to be really noisy 1 or 2 days every 18 days or so it is probably her heat cycle. Or do you milk your does? If it’s 5:30 and I’m not there to milk Phoebe she yells to remind me that her udder is full and she would really like it emptied. Is it food time? My goats know when they get their grain and when I come around to refill the hay racks. Again food is everything to a goat. Are they out of water? Or is the water bucket too dirty? They’re fussy when it comes to the cleanliness of their water bucket and won’t drink dirty water. Make sure they have clean water at all times. Is it too hot outside? Mine get crabby when the temperature is over 30° Celsius (which it has been all summer). Is it rainy? Goats hate water. Are the bugs bad? Who wouldn’t be annoyed with 10 thousand mosquitoes all up in your business every second of the day? Think like the goat and try to see what could be pushing them to be miserable and shout for attention or a change. Correct the situation if possible.noisygoat3

That’s all I’ve got for you. The rest is between you and your goats. They are stubborn cantankerous creatures that will drive you to the brink of insanity. But they are kind of cute. I guess.

Good luck my friend. You’re going to need it.

And amen.

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shared with: Our Simple Blog Hop

6 thoughts on “My Goats Are Too Noisy!

  1. Thank you for this blog/article! We got 2 goats (we’re in Australia) a couple of months ago and our wether is going nuts yelling all the time! I am going to try your suggestion of set feeding times as I’m sure that’s where we have been going wrong: feeding on demand and all through the day whenever he starts yelling!

  2. Great blog! We just got our two 8 week old wethers last week. First few days were fine. Starting yesterday they are screaming all the time! I was NOT expecting this. They are healthy, just very social (which I am learning). I probably shouldn’t have started the cracker treats right away. 🙁 They are sweet boys. We have a routine with morning chores. Is it ok to just put hay in a feeder and have it there for them all day? Otherwise they only get about 1/2 cup grain each per day. Any other suggestions?

    1. Yup hay out all day long is totally fine. It’ll give them something to do during the day which always helps. Goats can be hay wasters so if it seems like most of it is ending up on the ground just give them a little less the next day. They’re still new with you too which can make them noisy. Hopefully they’ll figure out the routine soon and stop the yelling. Our’s bonded with us when we first got them and it took a long time for them to bond to each other instead of with us. Yours probably see you as one of their herd mates right now, and are upset that you are away from them. Goats like to stick together. Good luck with them! They should hopefully settle in soon 🙂

  3. Ah the “simple life”…..ain’t it great? I currently…(at almost 1am)…hate my goats (it’s okay we’ve all been there)….Actually it’s one doe in particular, who has been crying all day. She is in heat. During the day it’s not such a big deal but after 10pm, it IS a big deal. We have neighbors….and we actually care about them and don’t want to disturb them. Unfortunatley, sometimes… like tonight, no matter how hard we try, the tears shed, the prayers said, and another sleepless night, it just doesn’t work.
    (I love my goats, really.) We have a small herd of six La Manchas. They are amazing and beautiful animals from champion lines. We are lucky to have such beautiful and healthy animals!  Most of the time they are pretty oaky, as far as noise goes. It’s just these days once in a while where we have to camp out (literally) all night with our goats to attempt to keep them quiet, because we have neighbors. If we lived out in the country with 100 acres it might not matter so much…But we are in the same boat as you as far as property size goes.
    I have been so close….several times now….in tears (and I’m not a sissy neither!)… just saying I give up…I can’t take the crying anymore…let’s just sell them! It’s exhausting sometimes….REALLY! It’s not all chevre and roses (and let this be a warning to any prospective goat keepers) Goats are A LOT OF WORK to keep them right, and I swear they can push you to the very edge of sanity over and over again. Here I am at 1am, searching the internet, trying to find any bit of wisdom…something I didn’t know…About how to keep them quiet…pretty please? I saw a new one on a goat forum, to give them 5cc of WINE every 3-4 hours. SERIOUSLY! I think at this point the best thing to do is self-dose with 3-4 glasses, go to sleep, and hope the neighbors don’t hate us too much in the morning. 

    1. Oh Anne! 1am with screaming goats! I would have probably killed them by now! Bless you. I hope your neighbours appreciate your efforts! I too would probably self dose. Screw the goats, they aren’t getting any of my wine! (Although I completely understand the logic of it. Just dose them until they pass out! Sometimes us goat herders just need a break!) It isn’t all chèvre and roses, there is SO MUCH WORK involved. So many people tell me how much they want a goat and I get a weird eye twitch and say “Really, REALLY? Because you don’t know! I’ve seen things!” But at the end of the day I still have them, so I guess it isn’t all bad……

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